Covid vaccination online booking explained

Speaking starts at 2:58

The Ministry of Health has provided details on how the Covid-19 vaccination online booking tool will work.

Deputy Director-General of data and digital Shayne Hunter says people will not receive an invitation to book until it is their turn,  even if they register their details.

"The new system can handle high volumes of bookings", he said, is the first time it has been used in New Zealand. It is used worldwide and has just been launched in Western Australia.

Those who prefer to get some help can call the national helpline on 0800 358 5453.

People will need to make two bookings three weeks apart to get fully vaccinated, Hunter said.

The online booking system will be live from July 28.

National Digital Services group manager Michael Dreyer said the system would be updated continuously.

Earlier in June, the Government laid out its vaccine rollout plan for the general population in group 4 who can start getting the vaccine from late July.

Dreyer said Book My Vaccine is for anyone in group 4 and people in other groups who have not been vaccinated.

Those over 60 will be invited to book from July 28 - an email, letter, text or phone call will alert people that they can now book.

Booking was very straightforward and easy, Dreyer said.

People will be first asked to book a location, then date and time, book two appointments at least 21 days apart and then supply a few details to help with streamlining the process when people show up for their jab.

An email or text will confirm the booking - if people need to change they can click on the confirm details and rebook.

All consumer data was being treated very seriously. Bookings can be made on other people's behalf.

Providing details will help ensure "a fast and slick experience" when they present for their vaccination.

Reminder notices will be sent to people the day before they are due to be vaccinated.

Asked how long it has taken to develop the system, Hunter said it had been couple of months since it went into DHBs' systems, and a couple of months work before that went into development.

The immunisation programme and managing the vaccine and safety monitoring have all been prioritised ahead of developing Manage My Booking, he said, in response to a question on the length of time it was taken to develop.

Hunter said it was always intended to use the tool when New Zealand moved to mass vaccination of the general population.

The system can handle hundreds of thousands of bookings, he said.

"We have a pretty good register of people who are registered with a general practice."

GPs will receive notices of people being vaccinated.

While some walk-ins may be possible, it is preferred people use the booking system, he said. Otherwise, people may want to get in touch with their GPs.

People should wait until they are invited and do the right thing - not try and get vaccinated before their turn, Hunter said.

"We have a sequence of age-groups we want to bring through."

Group 4 rollout plan

From July 28, people aged 60 and over will be able to get inoculated. Then from August 11, the over 55s will have their turn.

Gradually, and depending on vaccine supply, bookings will open up to over 45s in mid to late August, followed by the over 35s in mid to late September.

Everyone will become eligible to get the vaccine from October.

There is no cut-off once an age band has been announced.

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